The American Studies Program at the University of Bucharest already has a long tradition within the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures and was the first such academic venture in Romania. Supported by both the Cultural Center of the US Embassy and the Fulbright Commission in Romania, our program has benefited from the experience of some of the top specialists in the field of American Studies.
Below you can find more information about our Faculty and Staff, as well as our Research Programs.
Are you not quite sure why you should choose an American Studies major? Have a look at the following FAQs!
Q. What is American Studies?
A. American Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the culture, history, and society of the United States. Although the field is almost 100 years old, in Romania it is relatively new because the communist regime did not encourage the study of the US. Shortly after 1989, this academic discipline finally took root in Romania with the pioneering program at the University of Bucharest. We started with an MA program in 1996, and shortly after our undergraduate program took off, and it is still the most successful in the country.
Q. What kind of subjects are we going to study?
A. Since this is an interdisciplinary program, it follows that you will be studying a lot of exciting interrelated disciplines, such as (to name but a few subjects) American film studies, American literature, American civilization, media studies, studies of race and ethnicity, visual culture, popular culture, American history and politics, Native-American studies, African-American studies and a lot of other very exciting things!
Q. How will I be improving my English language skills in an American Studies program?
A. You will have four hours of English language practice a week during your first two years (and two a week during your third year), just like all the other English major students. During these classes you will be doing a lot of translations, you will improve your vocabulary, grammar, academic writing and speaking. Also, our program benefits from the same linguistics classes as Applied Modern Languages students, taught by our colleagues from the English Department.
Q. Is American Studies a separate department in the Faculty of Foreign Languages?
A. No, American Studies is a Program which belongs to the English Department. Our professors teach both in the American Studies Program and in the English Department. The vast majority of our professors have benefited from Fulbright scholarships to the United States.
Q. How is an American Studies major program different from an English major?
A. English is the teaching language of both these programs. The difference is that “English major” is a more traditional philological program (where you follow three main fields of study: English literature, linguistics, and civilization), whereas “American Studies” is an interdisciplinary cultural studies program (where you study not only literature, linguistics, and civilization, but also media studies, studies of race and ethnicity, visual culture, popular culture, American history and politics, Native-American studies, African-American studies etc.).
Q. Do we only study English during our degree?
A. No. Like all the other programs from the Faculty of Foreign Languages, you will need to choose not just a major (like, for instance, American Studies), but also a minor (another foreign language and culture; every year, the list is a little different, so you need to check the website of the Faculty of Foreign Languages to see what you can choose from when you decide to join us; alternately, you can send us a message on facebook and we can ask for you). In fact, this business of “major” and “minor” is a misnomer (it should probably be called a double major) that is used to reflect the fact that the “major” has slightly more classes than the “minor,” although in fact they are both equally important and consistent.
Q. What will it say on my diploma?
A. According to the Romanian higher education nomenclature, as established by the Ministry of Education, your diploma will say that you are a graduate of “cultural studies.” However, you have the same rights as a graduate of English major (their diploma says they are graduates of “philology with a major in English and a minor in X”), meaning you can teach and become an authorized translator of both English and the other language you chose. Your major and your minor will be listed on your transcript, issued by the University of Bucharest together with your diploma. The transcript specifies all the subjects you studied, as well as your grades, in all the disciplines you studied.
Q. Why are there only 50 American Studies undergraduate students a year?
A. Because in this way we can give you a lot of attention, get you up-to-date academic resources as well as the best internships on the market. Because we like to believe that you can actually use what we teach you to get a job afterwards. And we get a lot of help from the US Embassy and the Fulbright Commission, who love being involved in our academic life and do everything they can to support us.
Q. So what jobs can we get after we graduate from the American Studies Program?
A. It can depend what you decide to do your MA on, but you can work in the written and visual media, as writers and journalists, you can become teachers, editors, translators, curators, or political analysts. And the beautiful thing about our program is that we offer enough expertise for you to do an MA in any of the subjects you study during your undergraduate education. So you can go ahead and do MAs in the arts, film, cultural management, sociology, anthropology, HR, advertising, and a lot more!
Q. How does the internship program work?
A. Basically, what we do for you while you’re our student isn’t just teaching and examining you. We make sure you have a great CV when you’ve graduated. We find internships — part-time employment in institutions and companies which are directly related to what you may want to become when you graduate. That is, you can work at the American Cultural Center, the Fulbright Commission, newspapers and magazines, radio stations, TV stations, cultural institutes, publishing houses, English language teaching centers, NGOs. We have done it in the past, and our students left these temporary work places with solid recommendations and important work experience.
Q. Can we study abroad while we’re your students?
A. You can apply for an Erasmus scholarship during your first and second year of study (and select a European university with which the University of Bucharest has an Erasmus partnership – see http://lls.unibuc.ro/erasmus/ ) or apply for a Fulbright scholarship during your third year of study and we can tell you more about how to build a solid application form because most of our faculty are Fulbright alumni! (see www.fulbright.ro)
Q. Are we also going to have American professors?
A. Yes. Every year the Fulbright Commission sends us 1-2 professors who teach the latest subjects in the field. They have always been wonderfully supportive of our undergraduate students and can provide valuable advice for your future careers, should you decide to continue your studies in the US. They provide written recommendations and invaluable support.
AND HERE’S WHY ELSE YOU SHOULD CHOOSE THE AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM:
- The American Studies website (www.americanstudies.ro) is constantly updated and keeps you posted about the entrance exam as well as the latest news in the field.
- You can use the American Studies facebook page (www.facebook.com/AmericanStudiesUnibuc) to ask our students and faculty questions about the entrance exam and the program.
- The American Studies Program has set up the very first American Studies [under]graduate journal of American Studies in Romania. [Inter]sections is an online publication available here: www.intersections-journal.com . There, our students can publish articles about American film, literature, popular culture, history and politics, sociology and anthropology, visual culture and many more!
- Every year, the American Studies Center at the University of Bucharest organizes a Student Conference together with the Fulbright Commission or the US Embassy. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for all of our graduate and undergraduate students to share their work and have lively public debates.
If we haven’t covered everything, do feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.